Big Lake Festival big on celebrating music in Wellington

Amahl Arulanandam and Brian Holt known as VC2. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)




Musicians from many parts of the world gathered in the Wellington area last week for the inaugural Big Lake Festival and the celebration of live, fine and eclectic music hit all the right notes.

SWEET HARMONY Brian Cheng and Silvie Cheng make up the Cheng2Duo and the popular chamber music performers were among those featured at the 2021 Big Lake Festival in Wellington last week. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Co-founders of BIGLAKE Arts and the festival Johannes Debus and Elissa Lee are thrilled to have organized a live in-person event since the Covid pandemic halted everything in its path. “Covid has affected all our lives on every level,” expressed Debus, Artistic Director of the festival. “As we all know things came to a halt in term of live performances so we are incredible delighted we can come back with the festival to live performance mode.”

The festival opened with the Cheng2 Duo at Cold Creek Vineyards, a brother-sister team of Brian Cheng on the cello and Silvie Cheng on the piano. Approximately 60 people were in attendance and enjoyed the setting of a restored barn on the vineyard’s property.

With the sun setting at the duo’s backs and a  slight breeze blowing through the open barn door, the work of the popular  and the soothing set of chamber music standards set the mood for a relaxed and very enjoyable evening.

Another part of the festival included a pair of cellists called VC2, playing at the Lock Mór Cidery on the outskirts of Wellington on Tuesday. A ‘bring your own picnic’ concert overlooking the vineyards with a beautiful sunset, lovely weather and inspiring music from Brian Holt and Amahl Arulanandam, offered a mood of calm and peace even with the more boisterous set of songs.